I Am An Anxious Driver, and Here’s Why…

Hey pals, 

I’ve been driving since June 2011; eight years this year. 

I’ve always been somewhat anxious when I drive, even if it’s somewhere I’ve been a thousand times before. I wanted to explore the many reasons why that is… 

I think a lot of it started with my first driving instructor, a middle aged man who would always ask me about football… I did tell him, every time, I do not watch football. He wasn’t very empathetic as a teacher and most lessons I would stall the car, and every lesson I would hit a curb, he started calling it ‘doing an Artie’… as you can imagine, I didn’t appreciate that. 

I disliked him and the way he spoke to me so much I changed instructors. My second instructor was a woman in her thirties and was a lot nicer and better at making me feel confident in my driving. Plus, she would shout and swear at all the bad drivers around us, so I felt kinda protected by her. By the end of it, I passed my practical first time round thanks to her. It was the theory I struggled with.

I’m not a good tester generally, and I took that test three times before I got enough. I was always really good at hazard perception. Finding all the possible dangers, it’s almost like my anxiety was actually helpful? But I struggled with the questions after that… the second test I took I fell asleep because I knew I wasn’t going to do well. I’m not a good reviser and the only way I got better was doing practice tests over and over again at home. And I’m pretty sure my last test scored had jumped by 20 or 30 points from what they had been before… Don’t quote me on that… I just remember there being a huge difference. 

Then we go out and be a real adult driver in my little red Nissan that I loved (Hugo, in case you wanted to know) and things were mostly great. I’d drive to and from college, and to and from all my friends houses. I was the first one to pass my test out of my group so I always went to see everyone and I always picked people up and took them to places. In some ways I loved it because I live in the middle of the countryside, the only way to get anywhere was to drive. It gave me freedom to leave. But I couldn’t do what my friends would do (drink) unless someone let me stay and it wasn’t always so easy. 

I remember driving with my friend to college one day and some FUCKWAD in a big jeep sorta car (I know nothing about car brands so honestly I’m not sure, it was a big car is all I can say) was reversing round a corner onto a main road and fully just drove the back corner of their car into my front car door. Something went CRACK and it turned out I’d lost my fucking car handle. I was shaking because this woman didn’t use her mirrors, didn’t look out the back window, just relied on her sensors to beep… apparently they didn’t. She never gave me any money and it wasn’t worth going to insurance. I bought a new car handle for a tenner eventually. 

The only other time I had been in an accident, it was my fault unfortunately. It was on the motorway, I was in the wrong lane so I was trying to move over in bumper to bumper traffic. I thought the car in front of me had moved further forward that she had. I basically totalled my car from such a tiny minor accident. I drove my front left corner into the girls back right. We both pulled over and we were both shaking. The girl looked about my age and was crying and I was apologising and texting my mum and we swapped details. I remember hugging her at one point coz I felt so bad… I felt the way she felt and it was my own fault for not looking a second time. 

When you tell someone you got into an accident on the motorway, most people imagine something really intense. We were both fine and she eventually drove off. I was told to stay put and my mum had to pick me up from the closest service station and help me get all my stuff out my car before they took it away. Funnily enough, I was on my way home to go for my PIP assessment and we had to rearrange coz it took so long. They told me to stand at the side of the road rather than sit in my car… It was October and I didn’t have the right clothes for that and I couldn’t stand because, surprise surprise, I’m disabled. 

It was a mess really. That was in 2016. I’ve not had an accident since, touch wood. 

Since then, I’ve driven so many roads that are so fucked up they shouldn’t be legal to drive on. The amount of pot holes that ruin people’s cars and road sides eroded away is ridiculous. If you hit a bad pothole, your steering wheel automatically gets dragged that way, the same happens when you drop off the side of a road in the country. 

Country roads are often too narrow for the kinds of vehicles that come through (surprisingly, a lot of massive fucking lorries…) and they’re extremely twisted and shouldn’t be driven at 70mph, but people still do it. The number of corners that have been deemed super-fucking-dangerous near me I’d need another hand to count. 

We also sometimes have roads with livestock and people still race through as if a fucking cow won’t just walk up. 

I’ve also just seen SO MANY drivers in the middle of the road?? Just because. Drivers swerving about, even on the motorway. People pulling up to lights next to us, or overtaking us, on their phones?

Elderly drivers… sorry to say it, but y’all can’t drive and should be re-tested or have your license taken away, you’re a bloody menace. 

I am fed up of stories about horses being hit by cars and FUCKING DYING because people don’t seem to give a shit about other people on the road? Viral videos of cyclist being knocked for six because people cut corners (that’s another peeve of mine, the lines are on the fucking road for a reason!!!)

I’m constantly dodging bad drivers and potholes. I avoid driving as much as possible, I’m losing my own freedom because… other people can’t be safe? Like, I’m fully disgusted. Fuck all of you who look at your phone, or turn without using your indicators, or cut me off on a roundabout. I’ve had too many close calls. Also, fuck the government for never properly filling in potholes or fixing the edges of the road. I recently saw a road near me that had been blocked off for this reason and when it was accessible… the didn’t touch the truly ragged edges of the road that needed fixing and there were tiny lines they had filled in along the road that must have been the tiniest holes…

Where’s the guy who draws dicks on the ground? We could do with him round here. 

We were driving around in Norfolk not long ago and their roads are pristine, like we could have been dreaming. No potholes in sight… who’s in charge over there?? Give me their number. 

I’m an anxious driver, and that’s why. 

(WITHIN A COUPLE OF HOURS AFTER I WROTE THIS I WAS STUCK BEHIND SOME WOMAN ON HER PHONE AT A TRAFFIC LIGHT WHO DIDN’T EVEN NOTICE THE LIGHT WAS GREEN AND I HAD TO HONK HER I SWEAR TO GOD MY MOTHER IS RIGHT THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE FUCKIN AIR)

~ Artie

3 thoughts on “I Am An Anxious Driver, and Here’s Why…

  1. It’s not that driving is ‘unnatural’ to me because I have no problems driving, it is more about how often I face dangerous drivers that I am constantly paranoid I will end up in an accident because people never get pulled over for it

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